- Heart Coffee Two locations, one on SW 12th not too far from the Hilton, and one on E Burnside. The later is the ultimate hipster hangout, but the one in SW isn’t too far behind. They make their own almond milk for crying out loud.
- Courier Coffee Close to Powell’s bookstore. Austere surroundings, with a small, hand-written menu. They make a small selection of excellent baked goods on site, as well.
- Dragonfly Coffee Up in the NW 23rd district, in a historic house with a living room feel. They make their own chai mix and have great baked goods.
- Water Ave Coffee In Eastside industrial district, but they are opening one on SW 6th in October. I’m excited because this will be a sorely needed addition to the coffee scene around Pioneer Courthouse Square (Portland’s living room).
- Case Study Coffee Multiple locations, including one on SW 10th right on the MAX Blue and Red lines. Great place to hang out and, well, study.
- Stumptown Coffee Roasters Multiple locations, including one on SW 3rd near Voodoo Donuts. This is sort of the Ground Zero of the Portland coffee scene.
- Spella Caffe On SW 5th not too far from hotel. Standing room only, very European, but also very Portland in feel.
- Coava Coffee Across the river on SE Grand. Large, sparse space. Make sure to check out the bamboo lined bathroom.
- Trailhead Coffee Roasters NE Martin Luther King. Also called Cup & Bar. They roast and deliver beans throughout the Portland area on bike, as well as share a space with Ranger Chocolates which is made on-site.
- Barista Multiple locations. Just really excellent coffee and espresso. What more could you want?
Support Black Restaurant Day was back in August, but you can still enjoy eating great food and supporting communities of color in Portland. Travel Portland featured several great restaurants and food carts, and here’s a full list of Black owned restaurants. Special shouts to Deadstock Coffee, the spot for sneakerheads where you can get your kicks detailed while you enjoy a latte.
Racist Sandwich is a local podcast exploring issues of race, culture, and food that touches on issues of cultural appropriation, urban space-making and -taking, and has featured research by PSU faculty on the food service workforce. Their list of POC-owned restaurants is here.
om Eating around downtown:
The food cart pod around SW 9th and Alder (less than 10 minutes walking from hotel) contains many, many delights. Grab food and head to Director Park (2 blocks south) or Pioneer Square (2 blocks east) to sit outside and eat.
There are numerous versions of Middle Eastern food available, and I think the best for delicious skewers atop a ridiculous amount of flavorful rice and salad is Caspian Kabob (SW 10th & Alder). If you’re looking for vegetarian, the tofu sando at Boke Dokie with some fried veggies on the side is probably not very healthy–but extremely tasty. A more austere yet extremely flavorful choice, always popular in Portland, is Nong’s Khao Man Gai (this is the original food cart location). Steamed chicken, steamed rice, and a funky sauce of fermented soybeans, ginger, & thai chilis that you can buy in bottles to take home.
Just a little further up the street from the food cart pod (around SW 12th and Alder) is a cluster of sit-down restaurants that makes downtown’s West End a new destination for foodies. It’s still casual Portland, so wear your fleece jacket without embarrassment. Roast chicken and vermouth at Pollo Bravo, all the calories pasta at counter-service Grassa, and don’t sleep on Superbite–you can share platters that could feed your whole panel.
A little bit further from the Hilton is Pine Street Market, open from morning till 11 pm. It’s basically a fancy food court, where you can sample more casual fare from some of the biggest names in the Portland restaurant scene. You can walk there in about 15 minutes. There’s something for nearly everyone. And drinks.
If you’ve walked all the way to Powell’s bookstore there is no reason to not go to Oven & Shaker. I guess it’s possible that some humans want neither gorgeous tasty cocktails nor amazing perfect pizza, but it doesn’t make sense to me.
Our downtown food scene has come a long way since ACSP 2004!
There are many food, drink and nightlife options around OMSI in the Central Eastside Industrial District. This list includes the most popular choices within one mile—all under a 15 minute walk.
$: under $10 | $$: $11-$30 | $$$: $30-$60 | (price range includes a drink and tip)
- Noraneko ($$) Ramen, sandwiches, snacks, cocktails, sake and beer. (veg/gf opt)
- Carmella’s Wines ($$) Wine bar with snacks and small plates
- Bunk Bar ($$) Breakfast all day, sandwiches, snacks and pinball.
- Hair of the Dog Brewery ($$) Unique strong beers, meals, sandwiches, and snacks
- Taylor Railworks ($$$) Fusion tapas (from oysters to chicken & waffles) and cocktails
- Olympia Provisions ($$) European-style charcuterie, small/large plates; closes at 10pm
- Le Bistro Montage ($$) French creole/Cajun cuisine: chicken plates, jambalaya, linguini
- Kachka ($$) Modern/nostalgic Russian meats, dumplings, vodka and drinking snacks.
- Loyal Legion Pub ($$) Burgers and 99 local Oregon beers on tap
- Robo Taco ($) Popular quick stop for tacos and burritos (veg opt)
- Cascade Brewing ($$) Barrel-aged/sour beers with sandwiches and small plates
- Green Dragon Bistro & Pub ($$) Sandwiches, snacks, and many local beers on tap
- White Owl Social Club ($$) Biker bar with burgers and nachos (veg opt)
- Lucky Labrador Brew Pub ($) Local brewery with bento and sandwiches. Dog-friendly.
- Cartopia Pod ($) Food carts for chicken, pizza, Belgian-style french fries and PB&J (veg/gf opt)
- Lardo: ($$) Popular pork-centric gourmet sandwiches and beer
- Teote Areperia: Latin American street food restaurant: arepas, bowls, and peppers. (veg/gf opt)
When: Thursday, Nov. 3, 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Where: OMSI | 1945 Southeast Water Ave.
There are multiple ways to get there:
MAX Orange Line (20 minutes):
- Walk North on SW 6th Ave for 1 block
Turn Right on SW Yamhill for 1 block
- Board MAX Orange Line at “Pioneer Place/SW 5th Ave” MAX station
- Exit at “OMSI/SE Water” MAX Station (6 stops)
17 or 9 BUS (18 minutes):
- Walk north on SW 6th to SW Taylor. Turn right on SW Taylor to SW 5th.
- Board 17 or 9 Bus at stop on SW Taylor St at SW 5th Ave.
- Exit at “OMSI / SE Water” bus stop
Walk (23 mins/one mile):
This is an enjoyable walk with an amazing view while crossing the Hawthorne Bridge.
- South on SW 6th Ave. for 2 blocks
- Turn Left on SW Madison St.
- Continue onto Hawthorne Bridge / SE Hawthorne Blvd
- Slight Right and then Left onto
(the Waterfront walking path)
- Continue on Eastbank Esplanade to OMSI
Recreational marijuana is legal in Portland for adults 21 and over.
- You can purchase marijuana and be in possession of up to one ounce.
- You can share your marijuana with other adults 21 and over.
- You cannot smoke or consume edibles in public space and most hotel rooms.
- You cannot drive or bike under the influence.
For more information see the City of Portland’s marijuana policy and community FAQ
The Willamette Week Potlander has lots of information, including a 2016 dispensary directory and many Best Of Guides.
The most helpful app to get around town via public transportation is TRANSIT. It’s offered for both iPhone and Android and it lists all the transit routes near you in real time. It’s very clear, accurate and helpful.
The MAX red line will get you from PDX International Airport to the conference hotel.
Fare: $2.50 for 2 ½ hours or day passes for $5.
Trimet day passes are also accepted on the Portland Streetcar which is helpful for getting around downtown and the inner Southeast.
The Portland Streetcar (A Loop and B Loop) both cross the Broadway Bridge and the Tilikum Crossing (Bridge of the People). The Tilikum Crossing is Portland’s new transit, cyclist and pedestrian only bridge. Both bridges are beautiful to walk across, and there are also waterfront walking/cycling paths along both east and west edges of the Willamette River.
BIKETOWN is Portland’s brand new bike sharing program. Day passes are $12. Riders can take multiple trips, but each trip must be under 3 hours. There are many hubs around downtown with bikes to borrow. See the website for maps and more information about how to join:
Here are pdfs of walking/cycling maps of each neighborhood in Portland with lots of great information and recommendations.
AAA is right downtown at 600 Southwest Market St: AAA members can pick up free walking maps of Downtown Portland.